bob , Parent asks:

What are the qualities of a good teacher?

This came up in a group discussion today. What are the qualities of a good teacher? Acknowledging that not all teachers are the same, how do we tell which teachers are good and those that aren't?

I go to the Back to School nights and Open House nights every year and meet all of my kids' teachers and leave with the sense that they're all pretty good. But all equally good?

How much do I factor in the opinions of my kids?

What do you use to evaluate your kids' teachers?
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago



Oct 9, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

This is a great question. Thank you for asking.  I believe that qualities that make a good teacher are different than what makes a  GREAT teacher.  I have worked with a lot of teachers and I feel that good teachers are knowledgeable about their subjects, hardworking and sometimes will go the "extra mile" to help a student who are having difficulties.

However these traits are what I feel makes a GREAT teacher:

1- Knowing their subject matter, yet, be willing to offer the opportunity for  students to ask questions that may seem out of the "box" and perhaps out of the parameters of the curriculum.

2- A teacher who keeps up to date with new information, research and curriculums. They are not afraid to bring in additional learning materials to incorporate in to their daily lessons. They will supplement with materials that are engaging and help the classroom be interesting. A GREAT teacher makes a boring lesson not seem boring.

3- Use of multi-modal techniques.  Students are not kept sitting all the time but are encouraged to learn through a variety of techniques that utilize their senses.  Hands on activities are encouraged to assist with learning.  Mnemonics are used to help with recall.

4- Care about all the children during school hours and after.  A GREAT teacher will have a "sixth sense" that there might be something troubling a child.  It could be as normal as a new baby joining the family or as serious as child abuse.  A GREAT teacher will be able to get a child help when they seem troubled.  And not gossip about this student in the faculty room.

5- Will go to extra- curricular activities where his/her students participate when possible.  A GREAT teacher tries to attend a football game to cheer on the students.  She or he will also go to soccer, field hockey, volleyball, etc. games.  Even if for a few minutes.  The same encouragement will be given to those on the newspaper, yearbook, SGA, and other non-sport organizations.

6- A GREAT teacher knows that everyone has a bad day.  Thus, grading will be flexible to drop the "bad day grade".

7- GREAT teachers will treat all students equally from the brightest to those who need extra help.    All is fair in a GREAT teacher's classroom.  And the child who has the worst behavior may just be the one that the teacher gives extra needed attention to help with frustration in the classroom and decrease negative behaviors.  Extra smiles and encouragement are offered  during the day and the teacher is someone who is a model of good behavior.  This same teacher will also not allow bullying in class and insist on respect for all.

8- A GREAT teacher will use behavior modification systems that work instead of continuing with systems that don't.  High school students will be treated age appropriately as will the third grader.  The same behavioral system cannot work for both age ranges.

9- A GREAT teacher is not necessarily the "easy grader" or most "fun" but the teacher that will be remembered as the one who guided students to learn a subject even when the student didn't think they could succeed.

10-  Lastly, a GREAT teacher is the one the students ask to write letters of recommendation for them, request to sign their yearbooks, or want to eat lunch with them (and the teacher will try to oblige, if allowed by the school).  This GREAT teacher makes each child feel that they are capable of  being a good student and feel valued as a person.

  I am lucky to have had many GREAT teachers, as have my children. I thank them all.  

Thanks for writing.

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families  

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Additional Answers (2)

gayle writes:
hi im a student of education in UST here in the philippines  i think as a future teacher i must say our good qualities are were the guide of the students for their better future. We are also the 2nd parents of my future student. A good teacher i might say not all base on the book but also can relate and explain her own experiences to his/ her students. A teacher must have a good diction, mastery of her lessons and always on her proper attire especially when is inside the class. Just to add up a good teacher has UK or understanding and kind in a way that she can lead his/her student in a positive way. garrette =))
> 60 days ago

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Nics writes:
They are all right about teachers, I am a teacher here in a community college here in california. In my own experience as a good teacher you must respect your students opinion not just yours. All teacher must conduct proper evaluation every end of the lesson each day so that she can assess her student if they excel on the class.

have a good day day to all
> 60 days ago

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